It’s a complex disease
In people with von Willebrand disease (VWD), the blood doesn’t clot the way it’s supposed to. Even though it’s the most common bleeding disorder, affecting up to 1% of the world's population, many people with VWD don’t get diagnosed correctly.1
When you have VWD, your body doesn’t make enough of a protein in the blood called von Willebrand factor (VWF), or the VWF that it does make doesn’t function properly.2
Bleeding caused by VWD varies from person to person and from episode to episode. There are different types of VWD, but the type you have does not always determine how severe your bleeding will be or where it will occur.3
The threat of bleeding is something people with VWD live with every day, but with proper treatment, they may be able to manage these bleeding episodes.3,4
VWF: Your blood can't clot properly without it
VWF is one of several types of proteins in the blood that are needed to help it clot properly to stop bleeding when you’re injured.2
In this process, VWF has 2 main roles1,3,5:
- Helping platelets, cells in the blood that clump together to form a clot, stick to the wall of a blood vessel where an injury has occurred.
- Protecting factor VIII, another protein needed for proper blood clotting, from being broken down too soon.
HOW VWD AFFECTS BLOOD CLOTTING
In a person without VWD
In a person with VWD
A deeper dive into VWD
Interested in learning more about VWD? Here are some additional places where you can get a greater understanding of your disorder.